I love this chutney. You can put it up in sterilized jars, but I never bother because I go through it so quickly. It makes the best grilled cheese sandwich, great on a cheeseburger, or along side a steak. I put in my chili instead of bell peppers, and I’m sure you’ll come up with your own uses for it. I don’t always make it with the same chiles, depends what looks good at the market. This time of year you can get loads of bell peppers and chiles for next to nothing at the farmer’s market. Whatever chiles you choose, be mindful of the heat, and use more or less to taste.
• 8-10 fresh red chiles, or to taste
• 8 red bell peppers
• olive oil
• 2 medium red onions, peeled and chopped
• a sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
• 2 fresh bay leaves
• a 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• ½ cup brown sugar
• ⅔ cup balsamic vinegar
Place your chiles and peppers over a flame, or on a tray under a broiler, turning them now and then until blackened and blistered all over. Place the hot chiles and peppers into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Once they steam then cool down you’ll be able to peel the skin off easily.
Meanwhile heat a saucepan and pour in a splash of olive oil. Add the onions, rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook very slowly for about 20 minutes or so, until the onions become rich, golden and sticky.
Once the chiles and peppers are cool enough to handle get rid of most of the skin, trim the stalks and scoop out the seeds. Finely chop the by hand or put in a food processor. (Wear gloves when doing the chiles, otherwise your hands may burn from the capsaicin.)
Add the chopped chiles and peppers, the sugar and the vinegar to the onions and keep cooking. When the liquid reduces and you’re left with a lovely thick sticky chutney, season well to taste. Remove the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves. Either spoon into the sterilized jars and put them in a cool dark place, or keep in the fridge and use right away. In sterilized jars, the chutney should keep for a couple of months.